The Pros and Cons of Aboveground Storage Tanks

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Fuel Tank StorageFuel tank storage is often a necessity and/or convenience. Some areas are so remote that there are no fuel suppliers within easy reach. You need to have a supply available for daily operations in a farm, manufacturing plant, or other businesses that need a regular supply of fuel. Stored fuel is also convenient even if you are not in a remote area because you do not have to stop work to get more gas.

You may also save on costs because you can buy fuel in bulk, which usually means lower prices. However, storing a liquid such as fuel is risky, which is why there is the API 653 standard for aboveground storage tanks (AST). You can choose buried storage tanks (BST) instead, but that involves a few standards as well. Here are the pros and cons of AST for your onsite fuel, suggested by Heart and Tank Services.


ASTs are definitely easier to install than BSTs, and cheaper, too. You do not need to excavate as much, and you can place it on any pad or structure. They are also easier to move or remove. They do have to be steel with an inner coating to prevent corrosion, however, while BSTs may be made of fiberglass. In addition, the supporting structure has to be strong enough to handle the size of the tank at full capacity, which can be costly. BST tanks have better support and owners can go as large as they want without that much difference in support costs.


Because ASTs are out in the open, it is easier to spot if there are leaks and other problem areas that need repairs. You also avoid contamination from water and soil. It is also easier to contain leaks by having the proper dike or run off to contain any liquid that comes out before detection and repairs. However, it is also vulnerable to lightning strikes, weathering, vandalism, and accidental damage.


ASTs have to follow rules and standards such as the API 653, but these are less stringent compared to the regulations governing BSTs. The main reason for this is BSTs pose greater harm to the environment than ASTs, which makes ASTs a better option for most industrial users.

Overall, ASTs are the more cost-effective than BSTs. It is the better option provided the tank owner complies with inspection and structure standards.